Back at it

I am nothing if not consistently repetitive; I’ve posted about running, couch to 5KM apps, jogging groups (jogScotland), completing an organised 10KM race, going to the gym for bootcamps and sticking with it through to lifting weights (140kg squat, 140kg deadlift, 90kg bench press PBs), to rediscovering cycling in a big way through COVID lockdown and on to 3hr rides up mountains (Etape Caledonia, and Tak Ma Doon (which featured in the recent World Championship road race)), and everything in between.

My periods of exercise are punctuated with injuries which stall my progress, and more recently the arrival of my son and my willingness to devote my life to his needs and put mine on hold which thwarted me doing much of anything for a couple of years.

But the cycle continues; exercise and get fit (even losing a little weight, but not a lot) and then pause and fall into old habits, then give myself a challenge to aim for to add some motivation and accountability.

In short, I’ve got my planning spreadsheet out and I’m aiming to tackle the 55 mile route of Etape Caledonia on the 12th May which, given how quickly life moves around here, will be here all too soon.

  • Step 1 – get my road bike serviced and the worn cassette and chain replaced (ohh and fit SPD-SL pedals)
  • Step 2 – make sure my hybrid bike is workable enough to get me to work and back a couple of days a week.
  • Step 3 – book time to do some longer, hilly, cycles in the coming weeks.
  • Step 4 – actually do the training

Step 1 is the easiest as all I need to do is drop my bike off at my LBS, Magic Cycles .

Step 2 shouldn’t take long as, even though my hybrid bike is 14 years old, it’s still a solid beast and mostly just needs a clean, a re-oiled chain, and some air in the tyres.

Step 3 is already done! I’ve opted to take some time off work as that fits best around the rest of my life commitments. So I’ll be up at 5am to get out on the bike by 5:30 and likely home by 8am-ish. Same for a couple of Sundays in April too as I start to increase my mileage.

Step 4 is sorta underway already as I’ve also restarted (for the umpteenth time) Couch to 5K. I’m halfway through and it’s fitting the bill in being a much quicker way to ‘get into exercising’ than cycling.

It’s a simple hack I’ve used in the past, go for the easiest exercise to start first and build momentum with that! I’m terrible for letting small inconveniences get in the way of exercise.

I love cycling but even just a quick hour on the bike means checking tyres, getting the right clothes on, helmet, bike shoes, bike computer, lights, gloves, water bottles, snacks and planning a route… Going for a run means putting on my trainers, headphones, starting an app and running, so far it’s doing the job.

I am trying to be sensible as I (re)build my fitness ahead of the Etape, hence why I’m starting now and not cramming in a few training rides late April; I’m lucky that I have a commute to work (by bike) that is almost entirely along cycle/canal paths so that’s good for getting my legs moving. It’s an hour, each way, but not many hills so the weekend and Wednesday mornings will see me taking on more challenging routes.

One advantage of where I live now is that there are plenty of hills to tackle so that won’t be a problem, well other than getting to the top of them!

I’m currently in the right frame of mind for all of this too, not something I’ve felt for a while so the faster I can build momentum and get back to regular exercise the better. I know I feel better once I’m done, plus as I mentioned, it means I can give my little planning geek a workout too.

I did, at one point, ponder an entirely separate blog for my exercising endeavours. I guess this is why we have categories but it’s still something I’m keen to explore. I have a separate instagram for my cycling/fitness and was gonna try and split the exercise focused posts here into a subdomain.. we will see, as ever, time is of the essence.

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

More From Author

You May Also Like

Today is now

When plans change

My A to Z of cycling